Jailed for terrorism, onetime hero Rusesabagina is a point of U.S. contention with Rwanda
On his trip through Africa last week, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken told reporters that the U.S. has “been clear about our concerns related to Paul Rusesabagina’s trial and conviction, particularly the lack of fair-trial guarantees.”latimes.com
Blinken rebukes Rwanda over rights, suppression concerns
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday rebuked Rwandan authorities over democracy and human rights concerns, saying the central African country may not reach its full potential without opening up political space and protecting freedoms.
San Antonio congressmen, Texas senator urge feds to ensure Paul Rusesabagina’s ‘safe return’ to U.S. amid trial in Rwanda
It’s almost been a full year since a United States resident living in San Antonio was tricked onto a private charter flight that ended with his arrest and imprisonment once he landed in Rwanda.
Hero of Hotel Rwanda tells terror trial he was tortured by regime in secret 'slaughterhouse'
He was hailed as the hero of the film ‘Hotel Rwanda’ and reportedly saved the lives of more than 1,200 people from machete-wielding genocidaires in 1994. But in explosive new documents, Paul Rusesabagina alleges he was tortured by Rwandan authorities for several days at an unknown location he described as a “slaughterhouse”. “I call that place the slaughterhouse,” he said, according to a lawyer's affidavit obtained by ABC News. “I could hear persons, women screaming, shouting, calling for help.” “I was suffocating, I could not move my arms, my legs were tied... I could hear persons, women, screaming, shouting, calling for help: ‘Please help, help, help, help!’” The 66-year-old dissident is currently being tried in the East African nation on more than a dozen terror-related offences, including arson and murder. He denies the charges. Mr Rusesabagina’s is best known for the story of how as a hotel manager in the Rwandan capital Kigali, he helped to shelter more than 1,268 people, during the Rwandan genocide in 1994. His exploits were the inspiration for the Oscar-nominated film Hotel Rwanda in 2004.news.yahoo.com
Court: 'Hotel Rwanda' hero wasn't kidnapped, faces trial
Paul Rusesabagina, who inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda" and is credited with saving more than 1,000 people by sheltering them at the hotel he managed during the genocide, speaks to lawyers as he attends a court hearing in Kigali, Rwanda, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Muhizi Olivier)KIGALI – A court has ruled that the man who inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda” was not kidnapped when he was tricked into boarding a chartered flight from Dubai to Rwanda, where he was arrested and now faces terrorism charges. The 66-year-old Paul Rusesabagina, once praised for saving hundreds of ethnic Tutsis from Rwanda’s 1994 genocide while a hotel manager, faces nine charges. A special chamber of Rwanda's High Court ruled Wednesday that Rusesabagina was tricked into coming back to Rwanda but not kidnapped and the country’s laws are silent on arrests under such circumstances. The court ruled that authorities followed the law properly after Rusesabagina arrived in Rwanda.
Rwandan court rules it can try 'Hotel Rwanda' hero
Paul Rusesabagina, who inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda" and is credited with saving more than 1,000 people by sheltering them at the hotel he managed during the genocide, speaks to lawyers as he attends a court hearing in Kigali, Rwanda, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. The judge on Friday rejected Rusesabagina's argument in his terrorism trial that a court there cannot try him because he is no longer a citizen. (AP Photo/Muhizi Olivier)KIGALI – The terrorism trial of the man who inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda” can be held in Rwanda, a judge there ruled Friday, rejecting Paul Rusesabagina’s argument that a court there cannot try him because he is no longer a citizen. Rusesabagina has argued he is a Belgian citizen who was kidnapped and taken to Rwanda, a country he left in 1996. The court also heard that some of Rusesabagina’s co-accused were brought from neighboring Congo to Rwanda without an extradition process.
'Hotel Rwanda' hero faces trial as family fears for his life
FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, file photo, Paul Rusesabagina, center, whose story inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda" for saving people from genocide, appears at the Kicukiro Primary Court in the capital Kigali, Rwanda. Rwanda accuses him of supporting the armed wing of his opposition political platform, which has claimed responsibility for deadly attacks. AdThe European Parliament last week adopted a resolution calling for Rwanda to give Rusesabagina a fair trial and condemning what it called his enforced disappearance, illegal rendition to Rwanda and incommunicado detention. Yolande Makolo, a presidential adviser on communications, tweeted last week that victims and survivors “need justice done” and asserted that Rusesabagina and the others will have a fair trial. After leaving Rwanda in 1996, Rusesabagina became an outspoken opponent of the government, which he accuses of numerous human rights violations.
Prosecutor says 'Hotel Rwanda' man to be tried with rebels
Paul Rusesabagina, center, whose story inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda", wears a pink prison uniform as he appears for a bail hearing at a court in the capital Kigali, Rwanda Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. The government accuses the rebel group of killing Rwandans in the country's north. Rwandan authorities said the rebel fighters to stand trial with Rusesabagina include two former spokesmen, now in detention in Kigali. “Prosecution intends to submit a joint indictment of these 16 defendants together with Paul Rusesabagina. Rusesabagina has been charged with 13 offenses that also include financing terrorism, complicity in murder, recruiting child soldiers, and forming a rebel group.
'Hotel Rwanda' hero admits backing rebels, denies violence
Paul Rusesabagina, center, whose story inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda", wears a pink prison uniform as he appears for a bail hearing at a court in the capital Kigali, Rwanda Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Muhizi Olivier)KIGALI – The man portrayed as a hero in the movie “Hotel Rwanda” has admitted in court that he backed a rebel group, but denied that he supported any violence or killings. Rusesabagina, 66, has lived outside Rwanda since 1996 but on Aug. 31, he suddenly appeared in the East African country in handcuffs. Appearing frail and speaking in a soft voice, Rusesabagina said that he is sick and would not attempt to leave Rwanda. A team of international lawyers have said they will represent Rusesabagina, but they were not at the bail hearing.
Man of 'Hotel Rwanda' fame denied bail in terrorism case
KIGALI – A Rwandan court on Thursday denied bail to Paul Rusesabagina, whose story inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda,” saying the terrorism and other charges against him are serious and he should remain in detention for another 30 days. Instead, Rusesabagina stepped out of the plane and was surrounded by Rwandan soldiers, the report said. Rusesabagina earlier this week said he denied the accusations during questioning by Rwandan investigators. Rusesabagina is credited with saving more than 1,000 lives during Rwanda’s 1994 genocide that killed some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. But he has faced criticism from Rwandan authorities in the years since he began speaking out against alleged human rights abuses by Kagame’s government.
'Hotel Rwanda' hero charged with terrorism in Rwanda court
Paul Rusesabagina, center, who inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda" for saving people from genocide, appears at the Kicukiro Primary Court in the capital Kigali, Rwanda Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (AP Photo)KIGALI – A Rwandan court on Monday charged Paul Rusesabagina, whose story inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda,” with terrorism, complicity in murder, and forming an armed rebel group. Rusesabagina was represented by Rwandan lawyers David Rugaza and Emeline Nyembo, whom his family outside Rwanda have disowned, describing them as state-imposed lawyers. She said they learned of the court hearing through the media. Speaking on the phone from Belgium, she said her father was the victim of an abduction, disappearance, and extraordinary rendition from Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates to Kigali, Rwanda.
Rights group asserts 'Hotel Rwanda' hero was forcibly taken
(Eric Draper/The White House via AP)JOHANNESBURG – Paul Rusesabagina sounded strained. “Paul briefly mentioned boarding a plane on the call, but this was strained and he cut off the discussion immediately after. The legal team points to publicly available flight records. But Rwandan authorities accuse him of supporting the armed wing of his opposition political platform, which has claimed responsibility for deadly attacks inside Rwanda. Rusesabagina’s legal team has filed a complaint with the United Nations special rapporteur on torture, and the office is “moving forward with their procedures,” Endless said.
Lawyers allege 'Hotel Rwanda' hero faces risk of torture
JOHANNESBURG The legal team for Hotel Rwanda hero Paul Rusesabagina has filed a complaint with the United Nations special rapporteur on torture asserting that Rusesabagina faces an immediate risk of cruel treatment as he remains cut off from lawyers, consular officials and his family more than a week after he appeared in handcuffs in Rwanda. Rusesabagina became famous for protecting more than 1,000 people as a hotel manager during Rwanda's 1994 genocide in which some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed. His lack of contact with the outside world helped to prompt the legal complaint. On Tuesday, the International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed it doesnt have access to visit Rusesabagira in detention. Rwandan law says a suspect can be in provisional detention for 15 days, renewable for up to 90 days.
Rwanda's president says 'Hotel Rwanda' hero must stand trial
Paul Rusesabagina appears in front of media at the headquarters of the Rwanda Bureau of investigations building in Kigali, Rwanda Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. (AP Photo)KIGALI Rwanda's president says that the man portrayed as a hero in the film Hotel Rwanda will stand trial for allegedly supporting rebel violence. President Paul Kagame, appearing on national television Sunday, did not explain how Paul Rusesabagina was brought to Rwanda where he has been held in custody for more than a week. Rusesabagina is credited with saving 1,200 lives during Rwanda's 1994 genocide by letting people shelter in the hotel he was managing during the mass killings. Rusesabagina has the blood of Rwandans on his hands.He said Rusesabaginas trial will be held openly and conducted fairly.
'Hotel Rwanda' hero denied access to lawyer, supporters say
JOHANNESBURG Supporters of the man portrayed in Hotel Rwanda say Rwandan authorities have denied a lawyer access to Paul Rusesabagina nearly a week after the outspoken government critic was paraded in handcuffs and accused of terrorism. The family has said they believe he was kidnapped during a visit to Dubai and that he would never knowingly have boarded a plane for Rwandas capital, Kigali. Rwandan authorities have not responded to questions about how and where Rusesabagina was apprehended, and have not publicly shared any international arrest warrant. Rwandan law says a suspect can be in provisional detention for 15 days, renewable for up to 90 days. Rusesabaginas detention has prompted concern among human rights activists that this was the latest example of the Rwandan government targeting critics beyond its borders.
Family of detained 'Hotel Rwanda' hero seeks Belgium's help
Theyre going to try to ensure hes still breathing, Rusesabagina's daughter Carine Kanimba told The Associated Press from Washington. Rusesabaginas family has expressed fears that the U.S. permanent resident and Belgian citizen was kidnapped during a visit to Dubai last week. The Rwandan state and its accomplices in the kidnapping of Mr. Paul Rusesabagina must be prosecuted by international justice, the statement said. ___Associated Press writer Jake Bleiberg reported this story from Dallas, Texas, and AP writer Cara Anna reported in Johannesburg. AP writers Jamey Keaten in Geneva, Ignatius Ssuuna in Kigali, Rwanda, and Lorne Cook in Brussels contributed to this report.
Daughter says 'Hotel Rwanda' hero was 'kidnapped' in Dubai
Paul Rusesabagina appears in front of media at the headquarters of the Rwanda Bureau of investigations building in Kigali, Rwanda Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. Rusesabagina, who was portrayed in the film "Hotel Rwanda" as a hero who saved the lives of more than 1,200 people from the country's 1994 genocide, and is a well-known critic of President Paul Kagame, has been arrested by the Rwandan government on terror charges, police announced on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020.
Daughter says Hotel Rwanda hero was kidnapped in Dubai
Paul Rusesabagina appears in front of media at the headquarters of the Rwanda Bureau of investigations building in Kigali, Rwanda Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. (AP Photo)JOHANNESBURG The man portrayed in the film Hotel Rwanda as saving the lives of more than 1,200 people from genocide was kidnapped while in Dubai, his daughter asserts, while a video shared by Rwandan authorities allegedly backing his arrest on suspicion of terrorism was challenged by his foundation. But Kitty Kurth, spokeswoman for the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation, asserted that the video appeared to be staged. No country has broadly conceded that it arrested and handed over Mr. Rusesabagina to the Rwandan authorities. The 2004 Oscar-nominated film Hotel Rwanda showed Rusesabagina, a Hutu married to a Tutsi, as using his influence as a manager of the Hotel des Mille Collines to allow more than 1,200 Tutsis to shelter in the hotels rooms.
"Hotel Rwanda" hero arrested on terror charges, say police
Paul Rusesabagina appears in front of media at the headquarters of the Rwanda Bureau of investigations building in Kigali, Rwanda Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. (AP Photo)KIGALI Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed in the film Hotel Rwanda as a hero who saved the lives of more than 1,200 people from the country's 1994 genocide, has been arrested by the Rwandan government on terror charges, police announced on Monday. A well-known critic of President Paul Kagame, Rusesabagina had been living outside Rwanda since 1996 and police did not say where he was apprehended. Through international cooperation, the Rwanda Bureau of Investigation wants to inform the general public that Paul Rusesabagina has been arrested, police said in a statement Monday. In the film, Rusesabagina was played by actor Don Cheadle.
DreamWeek 2020: Real-Life Hotel Rwanda Figure Hopes for Reconciliation
Paul Rusesabagina, the former hotel manager on whose story the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda was based, made a home for himself in San Antonio in 2009. Mayor Ron Nirenberg, San Antonio poet laureate Octavio Quintanilla, and DreamWeek founder Shokare Nakpodia also spoke. Rusesabagina has only visited Rwanda once since leaving in 1996; he traveled with the Hotel Rwanda filmmakers in 2003. As Martin Luther King had a dream, I also have a dream, Rusesabagina said. As Martin Luther King suggests, like Mandela, like Mahatma Gandhi, I believe dialogue and forgiveness will be the best solution.therivardreport.com
Explore DreamWeek, Browse Local Art, and Stretch with Puppies This Weekend
Do some yoga with adoptable puppies, listen to a San Antonio Symphony musician play at Mission Branch Library, look at local art in Southtown, or stop by one of the many DreamWeek events. DreamWeek Opening CeremonySan Antonios annual DreamWeek festival kicks off with a Friday opening ceremony at the Briscoe Western Art Museum. Friday, 7:30-9 a.m.Jack Guenther Pavilion at the Briscoe, 210 W. Market St.$65 and upTree Planting with San Antonio River AuthorityThe San Antonio River Authority needs volunteers to help plant bald cypress, Mexican buckeye, Mexican sycamores, and pecan trees along the rivers edge on the Mission Reach. The musician will play at Brick at Blue Star, celebrating his birthday and raising money for the San Antonio African American Community of the San Antonio Area Foundation. Brick at Blue Star Arts Complex, 108 Blue Star$20Miss SaigonThe touring production of Miss Saigon hits San Antonio this weekend with one Friday evening performance and two performances on Saturday and Sunday.therivardreport.com
Rwandan Who Protected Refugees During 1994 Genocide to Keynote 2020 DreamWeek
In its eighth year, San Antonios annual DreamWeek will kick off on Friday with the theme A Collective Vision, a nod to the year 2020. The march, which is organized by the City of San Antonios MLK Jr. Commission, will be on Monday, Jan. 20, beginning at 10 a.m. at the MLK Jr. Academy and ending at Pittman-Sullivan Park. San Antonios march is among the largest MLK Jr. Day marches in the nation with an estimated 300,000 people participating last year. DreamWeeks closing event will be the Mayors Ball on Jan. 25 at the University of Texas at San Antonios Institute of Texas Cultures. A full schedule of DreamWeek events can be found here.therivardreport.com
DreamWeek Welcomes Rwandan Humanitarian Paul Rusesabagina as Keynote Speaker for 2020 Event
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